Election anxiety is high. Sleep is elusive. Every day I find myself oscillating between extremes: focused to frayed, hope to despair, emotions swinging like a pendulum. Tears that I’m able to once again sing “Ang mamatay ng dahil sa ‘yo” with pride and honesty, but also tears listening to Martial Law survivors recounting their rape, their parents’ murder, their torture. Their horrors are ours too – we come from one bloodline, we seem to forget. And every day, like many Filipinos, I live with anxiety that in the coming weeks, this shared history of ours might possibly be erased, only to be relived by us, by our children. It is difficult not to have any semblance of worry for such uncertain and grim future.
I resolved to re-teach myself how to step away, even for a while. I increased meditations to two, sometimes three, a day and use a forest-inspired focusing app to stay productive and on track. I make myself a warm meal and watch an anime during my work break. For the first time in a while, I laughed from unadulterated entertainment.
I am alone at home for the first time in two months. The stillness and radio silence are precious gifts amid all the noise I have (willingly and dutifully) gotten myself into. My inner child is happy. Sometimes we must give ourselves permission to forget even only for 20 minutes. The world will forgive us for offering ourselves some space for ease and sharing some of this peace with the people we hold closest to us.
I tapped on Messenger, conscious of the last minutes of my one-hour lunch, and hovered to the little bubble of conversation with Lia. “Anak, I watched Fruits Basket. It’s good anime. Let’s watch it together when you get home.”